Fletcher skeptics vindicated a thousand-fold

May 7, 2013

By Chris Reed

FletcherFor years, Cal Watchdog founder and now regular CWD contributor Steven Greenhut has depicted media favorite Nathan Fletcher, a one-time Republican assemblyman from San Diego, as a phony and a turncoat waiting to happen.

Boy, was Steve right. Over the weekend, the guy who was Karl Rove’s buddy 14 months ago and a fierce independent 13 months ago suddenly announced that, hey, he’d had an epiphany and figured out he was a strong Democrat. Here’s how Tuesday’s U-T San Diego editorial dealt with this ridiculously expedient posturing:

‘Who is Nathan Fletcher? Who knows?’

“Who is Nathan Fletcher?

“Who knows?

“In the past 14 months, Fletcher has gone from being an ardent Republican to a harsh critic of both parties to a proud Democrat.

“What is Nathan Fletcher?

“That we do know: an opportunist. … Here’s a politician trying to revive his career by selling shameless expedience as idealism — as a principled ‘journey’ in which he keeps evolving into a better and better person. And he thinks we won’t notice that this evolution somehow always leaves him in a more politically advantageous position.

“Fletcher’s history matters. In late March 2012, just 18 days after promoting his unwavering conservatism to secure the local Republican Party’s endorsement for mayor and being denied in favor of a socially moderate, openly gay, fiscal conservative, Carl DeMaio, Fletcher quit the party to become an independent. …

“Now, 14 months later, Fletcher informs us that his life ‘journey’ has continued, and he is now a true-blue Democrat. In a lengthy Facebook post, he used unnuanced clichés to attribute bad qualities to Republicans and good qualities to Democrats. …

“But we suspect even some die-hard Democrats will agree that the only thing to admire about Fletcher is the extremity of his gall. Here’s a proud, loud Democrat who would still be Republican if enough GOP officials had voted for him at a party meeting on March 10, 2012 — who would still welcome having Karl Rove, the Democrats’ Darth Vader, as his buddy if that vote had gone his way. …

“P.T. Barnum would be proud.”

He could’ve been a contender

I have a lot of the same conflcting impulses on Fletcher as Flashreport’s Jon Fleischman. I genuinely like Fletcher and think he has great potential to be a pro-business, libertarian lite pol who makes folks’ lives better.

But at this point maybe I should say I thought he had that potential. A guy who joins the California Democratic Party with a long-winded, blindered statement on Facebook like his doesn’t inspire anyone outside of the John Perez/George Skelton camp of state politics.

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